Andrew Webster has spoken out amid the Israel Folau saga, offering an incredibly classy response to the rugby star’s homophobic comments.
The gay journalist opened up about how Folau’s recent social media posts affected him on Sports Sunday.
“When Israel Folau posts something like that I couldn’t care less,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt me.”
“If I allow myself to be hurt by something like that I’ll go insane.
“It would have hurt the 17-year-old me and that’s why I agree with [Rugby Australia] being so tough on him.”
However Webster took the high ground and said he didn’t agree with people slamming Folau for his beliefs.
“I don’t agree with absolutely belting the hell out of Israel Folau,” he continued.
“I don’t think he deserves to be bullied…I just think he’s saying what he honestly believes.
“I don’t think there’s any malice in it.
“I don’t believe it’s right and I don’t believe he should say it, but I don’t think we should be taking the mickey out of his religion.”
However fellow panellist Peter FitzSimons saw it differently, suggesting Folau had betrayed Rugby Australia after they stood by him and offered him a contract extension despite controversial posts in the past.
“This was the middle finger and it was pointed at Australian rugby, the homosexual community and his critics.”
Folau and Rugby Australia are headed for a bitter showdown with the embattled Wallabies superstar pledging to tackle the governing body head on in a desperate bid to save his career.
Folau met RA boss Raelene Castle on Friday, with neither party backing down in a feud that threatened to turn ugly.
Folau maintained a stony silence after earlier holding crisis talks amid RA’s threat to tear up his multi-million-dollar contract following his latest attacks on homosexuals.